ARRL Board Approves Free Membership for Students. New Vice Presidents Elected.
The ARRL Board of Directors met in Windsor, Connecticut, for its Annual Meeting, January 19 – 20, 2024. ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, presided over the meeting, and the Board welcomed Great Lakes Division Vice Director Roy Hook, W8REH, as a newly elected member to the Board. Here are highlights of some of the actions taken at the meeting:
Board members discussed proposed changes to By-Law 46, the Board’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and decided to consider revisions at a later date. The Board unanimously voted to approve the establishment of a committee appointed by the ARRL President to affirm the set of ethics guidelines and standards for the Board. In addition to the guidelines, the committee will review By-Laws 42 (Ethics and Elections Committee) and 46 for possible revision. The committee will also engage with a competent legally qualified independent third party to handle all Ethics & Elections inquiries in the future.
The Board voted to make the ARRL Director’s Workbook publicly available on the ARRL website.
The Board approved the reintroduction of ARRL Life Membership and 70+ Life Membership (for members of age 70 and over) on a revenue-neutral basis. At its July 2023 Second Meeting, the Board had suspended the Life Membership Program, pending the approval of an adjusted revenue-neutral program.
The Board approved two motions aimed at engaging young hams with a strong start to their lifelong journey with amateur radio and ARRL:
FREE ARRL Membership for Students. For decades, ARRL has offered a reduced dues rate for young hams, currently priced at $30 per year. At this meeting, the Board established a new option for a no-cost Associate membership for full-time students of age 21 and younger.
ARRL Student Coding Competition. The Board approved the creation of a coding competition that will challenge students 21 and younger to design a software application that meets the specifications established by ARRL. Awards of up to a total of $25,000 will be granted by an awards committee to the winning student(s). The terms and schedule for the competition will be determined by the committee.
With a goal of recruiting and developing greater participation in the ARRL Amateur Radio Emergency Service® (ARES®), the Board has approved, at the recommendation of the Emergency Communications and Field Services Committee, a commitment to expand messaging and marketing for the program.
The Board issued its strongest rebuke of efforts by the ad-hoc group “Shortwave Modernization Coalition” (SMC) to introduce high-power signals to the shortwave spectrum, including frequencies immediately adjacent to the Amateur Radio HF bands. The Board made a clear statement that the interests of the SMC are in conflict with those of ARRL and its membership, and has requested that the ARRL Volunteer Monitors explore ways to gather data on SMC station emissions.
The Board voted to expand ARRL’s ongoing efforts to help hams who are faced with involuntary limitations that limit their amateur radio operations beyond the regulatory efforts being pursued in Washington.
The Board heard a report from ARRL Foundation President David Norris, K5UZ. The Foundation, which marked its 50th anniversary last September, provides philanthropic support for amateur radio by way of the ARRL Foundation Scholarship Program, Club Grant Program, and through other grants and funds. In 2023, the Foundation awarded 113 scholarships totaling over $600,000, through the generosity of individuals and clubs. Norris also recognized the generous commitment made by Amateur Radio Digital Communications (ARDC) which will fund over $2.1 million, over three years, to support scholarships, radio technology for classroom teachers, and amateur radio club grants.
The Board re-elected ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, to a fifth 2-year term. The Board also elected Pacific Division Director Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, to be First Vice President, succeeding Michael Raisbeck, K1TWF. Northwestern Division Director Mike Ritz, W7VO, was elected Second Vice President, succeeding Bob Vallio, W6RGG. International Affairs Vice President Rod Stafford, W6ROD, was re-elected.
The elections of McIntyre and Ritz to the Vice President positions mean that incumbent Vice Directors Anthony Marcin, W7XM (Pacific), and Mark Tharp, KB7HDX (Northwestern) will succeed as Division Directors, creating vacancies for Vice Director in those Divisions, which will be filled by appointment.
Executive Committee. As First Vice President, Kristen McIntyre, K6WX, will remain on the Executive Committee (EC), succeeding former Vice President Raisbeck. Directors re-elected to the EC include Dr. Jim Boehner, N2ZZ (Roanoke); Fred Kemmerer, AB1OC (New England), and Art Zygielbaum, K0AIZ (Midwest). Newly elected members include Jeff Ryan, K0RM (Rocky Mountain), and Bill Lippert, AC0W (Dakota).
The complete minutes of the 2024 Annual Meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors will be available soon on the ARRL website.
The next meeting of the ARRL Board of Directors is scheduled for July 19 – 20, 2024.